Posted on Tuesday, 30 November 1999, at 9 : 57 a.m.
I will have a brilliant oak tree
Growing taller at my head,
Watching o'er this place of resting
In the years when I am dead.
Gentle hands will tend the gravestone
As the years go rolling past,
And I'll know nothing but contentment
Sleeping beside my country lass.
The quiet of the graveyard
suits this somber man of thought,
While she I love is like the wood nymph
At peace in any sylvan spot.
My spirit will rise at evening
And I'll take my darling's hands,
We will wander and remember
A Meryton country dance.
I'll spark her in the moonlight
And set her cheeks aglow
The chatter of the wood will be relentless,
Like Longbourne years ago.
We'll walk beside the lake of memories
And approach the house of dreams.
I led her here when we were young;
She was just a girl, it seems.
We shall not cross the threshold
And join the shades that roam the hall,
For we always loved to walk the wood
And scrunch the leaves in fall.
Perhaps from the far-off parlor
We will hear the gentle strains
Of Georgianna's ghost at the pianoforte,
In from wandering the lanes.
Along the gallery of portraits
They say a spirit woman treads
Perhaps it's gentle Mrs. Reynolds,
Still turning down the beds.
If death is but a phase of life
There will be a quiet nook
Where Mr. Bennet sits in solitude,
Content, as always, with a book.
Perhaps that's Lydia in the ballroom
Where girlish laughter streams;
The living may just catch a glimpse of her
Dancing through their dreams.
If Mary should play Grimstock
I'll pause beyond the door,
Recalling turns with Lizzy
When I waltzed her across the floor.
The night will fill with laughter
As ghostly sweethearts promenade,
A set for those who went too soon
From Pemberley home to God.
We'll ramble through the apple trees
Beyond the old stone wall,
Where shadows dance like firelight
Cast upon the parlor wall.
It was through these golden lanes
Our children ran home after play,
And it was down the well-worn orchard path
Our son the soldier rode away.
We'll ascend a gentle hillside
And count the stars out toward the west
That hover over Hunsford
And Charlotte's final place of rest.
Then turning hand in hand
To where snowcapped mountains run,
We'll envision that foreign battlefield
That claimed the Earl of Matlock's second son.
Perhaps the shades of Pemberley will claim those
Whose bones lay far afield,
For the truest freedom starts the day
The Darcy crypt is sealed.
Looking south to Netherfield
I'll smile at how very good and true
Was the nature of its owner,
The best man I ever knew.
The answers to life's mysteries
Will be blowing on the hilltop breeze:
That love and death are sweet like honey
From Mr. Collin's bees.
Noone can spoil this serenity,
Not even Mr. Bennet's wife,
Who may chatter like the magpie
But she gave my Lizzy life.
Even Wickham may return
To where his tangled path began,
And await the day a trumpet call
Redeems the soul of man.
Raindrops on our hilltop
Will remind me of the tear
That sparkled in my Lizzy's eye
When I whispered in her ear.
"Goodluck! Godspeed"! they called to us
As the wedding carriage rolled away,
"I'll love you always" were the words
I found the strength to say.
As the brilliant days of autumn
Roll toward the snowfall of December,
How lost will seem those days of youth
That are but a dream remembered!
If the glory days are lost, though,
We'll find a different heaven,
For when our mortal bodies come to rest
Another life is given.
For I'll walk familar paths
With my lady at my side.
Amid extraordinary souls,
Such as these that lived and died!
Perhaps we'll be remembered
Should some writer choose to tell
Of the tall, proud man from Derbyshire
And the girl he loved so well.
Of the Fitzwilliams and the Darcy's,
The Bennets and De Bourghs;
Only the greatest storyteller
Could put our adventure into words.
Like carriage wheels on earthen roads
The wind will rumble through the reeds,
But I shall follow some forsaken path
If my Eliza leads.
We will wander thus forever,
And I shall not be afraid
With my country lass beside me
In the oak tree's brilliant shade.